Bacteriocins are proteins produced by bacteria to destroy other bacteria occupying their ecological niche. Photorhabdus luminescens is an insect pathogenic bacterium carried by an entomopathogenic nematode and occupies several different niches in its life cycle. The nematode enters the insect and releases a single strain of P. luminescens. The bacteria then kill the host and the bacteria and nematodes replicate within the cadaver. Strikingly, at the end of the infection the cadaver is still occupied by a single strain of bacterium, suggesting that P. luminescens can destroy other bacteria entering, or present within, the insect. Here we describe four loci encoding 'lumicins' in P. luminescens subsp. akhurstii strain W14. The lumicins are novel bacteriocins capable of killing other strains of Photorhabdus and Escherichia coli. These loci predict killer proteins and multiple dual type immunity proteins with domains similar to pyocins and colicins. The killer proteins are chimeric in nature with multiple domains, one of which is similar to the uropathogenic-specific protein (USP) described from uropathogenic E. coli. The implications of these novel bacteriocins for the lifestyle of Photorhabdus and the potential role of USP as a bacteriocin in E. coli are discussed.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||FEMS Microbiology Letters|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2002|